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UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools

Stéphanie Walter
January 27, 2022

UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools

Tools and software enterprise users have to work with on a daily basis are often described as "ugly" and "hard to use". Most of those tools are built by IT teams with no designers in the process.
I share my UX research process for the redesign of a tool used by 1000+ internal users on a daily basis: the challenges for researchers, how to overcome them, what surprised me, what I love about working in Enterprise UX and how to grow in such environments.

I think there's a lot of missed opportunities in those environments and a huge potential for more UX work. Let's improve our internal employees' tools!

Stéphanie Walter

January 27, 2022
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  1. UX Research for Internal Enterprise Tools Stéphanie Walter - 2022

  2. stephaniewalter.design @WalterStephanie ! User Researcher & UX Designer Mobile expert.

    Pixel & CSS Lover
  3. I design products & softwares used by internal employees for

    their daily work.
  4. Products, Softwares & Services built internally in the company SaaS

    product sold as packages to be then used by employees
  5. Historically, enterprise products meant “ugly” and “hard to use”.

  6. Our UX Researcher and Design Process for an Internal Tool

  7. One Internal Tool, a LOT of different user groups

  8. We start with quantitative data ๏ What and how much:

    current pages usage ๏ Analysis (business) of the content of the pages
  9. User Interviews & Task Analysis ๏ Understand tasks and activities

    ๏ Get pain-points, needs and frustrations If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task easier for you? Can you remember you biggest pain or issue when trying to perform this activity? How do you overcome this today? Interactions Dependencia Pain points What actions or decisions do you take in order to accomplish this? Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. Are they other actions/ people you need in order to perform this activity? Activity How? changes Rythm & duration Hew long does ittake? Objects Are they other tools you need irt order to perform your activity? ^ Priority If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task Can you remember you biggest pain Interactions V- Dependencies Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. What actions or decisions do you take in order to accomplish this? Magic Are they other actions/ people you need in order to perform this activity? Activity How? How do you overcome this today? A'rfw-J- dL Rythm & duration How long does it take? do you to (hi Objects Are they other tools you need in order to perform your activity? ^ Priority If you had a magic wand, what would you change to make this activity/task easier for you? Can you remember you biggest pain or issue when trying to perform this activity? How do you overcome this today? Pain points Describe an activity or task that requires you to use Scrap« in your dailywork. Activity changes Rythm & duration Hew long does ittake? ^ Priority
  10. “I need an export to excel button” she said… What

    she needed was to only see the active projects in the table. Filters!
  11. 1 to 1 Early adopters “first time” sessions ๏ Observational

    feedback session on beta version that we opened to some users. ๏ “Please try to do whatever you needed to do with [oldtool], but use [newtool] instead”.
  12. Indirect user research to gather feedback, first impression, etc. Training

    sessions
  13. A user interface is like a joke. If you have

    to explain it, it’s not that good. Like any good joke, you might need some prior knowledge (business) to understand it. Doesn’t make it a bad joke. Or a bad interface. “ ” For Enterprise UX
  14. User diary - understand usage over a period of time

    The trigger: when you were trying to do something with the new tool but couldn’t and had to fallback to the old one
  15. Reporting and defining priorities List big pain-points and needs Prioritize

    those with the team: fast track vs big topics
  16. Fast track ๏ Content, small features where we don’t have

    time / need to do intensive research ๏ Mostly UI design (and information architecture) ๏ Use the design system to migrate the content ๏ Ask a few users for their feedback by email or small 1 to 1 calls sometimes ๏ Gather more feedback on the developed feature
  17. Specific research for big topics ๏ Gather the previous research

    on the topic ๏ Schedule some more interviews / task observation for that topic ๏ Advanced Prototype (Axure) ๏ Usability Testing
  18. Monitoring & Measuring ๏ Usage with Matomo (daily session, how

    many users, etc.) ๏ UMUX-lite Survey (perceived usability and usefulness) ๏ Feedback and Verbatims
  19. A User Centered Process applied to enterprise environments Analyse &

    Understand Design, Explore, prototype Test, Evaluate, Measure Learn, Update, Implement
  20. Some challenges UX Researchers might face in such environments…

  21. Bad user experience is the norm because perceived value of

    design is low. 1.
  22. ๏ Users start demanding better tools & experience. ๏ Make

    the process transparent. ๏ Turn developers, BAs, QAs into design advocates. ๏ Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight: measure, bring proof.
  23. You are saddled with legacy (data, user habits) 2.

  24. ๏ Keep a candid eye to question things: tell me

    whyyyyyyyy… ๏ Seek business / developer’s help ๏ Change management is key: prepare, support and help users going through the change.
  25. Complex internal organisations slow things down. 3.

  26. ๏ Patience: you are in for the long game ๏

    Keep your research safe and available. Even if it is not used today, it will eventually. ๏ Find political allies who can help you move things and break silos ๏ Understand what makes people click and leverage it
  27. A lot of security and tool constraints. 4.

  28. ๏ Be flexible, the tool doesn’t make the designer "

    ๏ Accept you may not be as efficient at first
  29. Working in such environment can be nice and rewarding for

    researchers
  30. Easier access to internal users to conduct research. 1.

  31. A LOT of improvement opportunities. 2.

  32. It involves some service and process design as well. 3.

  33. Complex Information Architecture: I feel like a detective some days.

    4.
  34. My advice, to grow as UX Researcher, in such environments

  35. Content might be here for a reason. But you are

    allowed to question it. 1.
  36. Start with the business & users process Don’t try to

    “force” users into your ideal flow. 2.
  37. Find people to help you get familiar with the business,

    the jargon, BEFORE starting your research. 3.
  38. Complexity is scary… Cut it down in smaller parts. And

    document! 4.
  39. Analysis Asking for business help to take a closer look.

    Complexity Fear: how am I supposed to design that?? Solution Design Once everything clicks into place User Research Finding & understanding more of the puzzle.
  40. There is a big need for UX designers in such

    environments!